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Cable providers still leery of Apple TV, some refuse to authenticate 'HBO Go' app

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
In an interview on Thursday, HBO's CTO Otto Berkes outlined the troubles in bringing a totally in-house app to the Apple TV, but the bigger challenge may be getting content to customers as a number of cable providers are blocking subscribers from using the app.

appletv-130619-1.jpg


Otto told The Verge that one of the biggest technical challenges in bringing HBO Go to Apple TV was delivering the company's vault of video content in a high-quality, but compressed format. While daunting, the app launch underscored another problem: getting cable providers to view over-the-top boxes like the Apple TV as a benefit, not competition.

Apple announced availability of the HBO Go, WatchESPN and other channels on Wednesday, touting the streaming options as a boon for Apple TV owners. With the proliferation of Internet set-top boxes, service providers are becoming uneasy, perhaps fearing that the streamers will one day boot them out of the living room.

In response, a few cable and satellite companies that already carry HBO and ESPN are refusing to authenticate mobile or set-top boxes for streaming. According to the publication, Charter Communications doesn't authenticate HBO Go for Apple TV, while Dish won't authenticate ESPN. Other providers like Comcast have similar restrictions for Roku.

One person with knowledge of the situation said, "Affiliates are always initially hesitant about things connected to the TV. They were nervous."

There was also discord among Apple TV owners regarding the subscription arrangement required for viewing, but the setup may be a way to assuage cable and satellite company fears that attached Internet streamers will take over.

While still leery, the cable and satellite companies are looking at HBO Go as a possible positive as its performance on other platforms has increased Internet distribution and may help to keep subscribers. Although good news for some, this likely means that paying separately for HBO content through Apple TV or another form of streaming without a subscription is out of the question. At least for now.
post #2 of 78
Eventually cable companies will get to the point that we pay as much for our internet subscription as we did both both internet and TV not long ago. Every year it seems the rate goes up. If we had real competition for broadband in more than just a few select areas then perhaps they would wield less power. Those people in Chattanooga are indeed very lucky and I hope more towns follow their example.

Nothing they can do will keep more and more people from cutting the chord. If not for a very few select cable channels I would do so myself.
Edited by gwmac - 6/20/13 at 4:17pm
post #3 of 78
Or they can cut the cord and borrow someone else's login. Even better!
post #4 of 78
I hate cable/satellite companies. Aereo will be in my area this fall. As soon as they arrive, I am signing up and canceling Direct TV.

Netflix, Hulu and Aereo: that is all my family needs. Well those and 3 more Apple TVs! We will save almost $90 per month.
post #5 of 78
Wow, looks like DirecTV and DirecTV Puerto Rico customers can activate Apple TV devices now! Apple must have kicked some ass to get them to relent as the Roku is *still* not able to activate HBO Go.
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post #6 of 78
They know it will be their death; I can see why they're hesitant.

The problem, then, is Apple not demanding separate terms for these things. They've sent out an update with unusable features for many; that can't fly.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #7 of 78
My AppleTV is no more than an adjunct to my cable/TiVo combination that is the workhorse of my home entertainment. Since I already get HBO and much more directly, HBO2Go is only a minor convenience. We already have programmed what we want to see on TiVo so it's always there when we want it. Also, the ATV remote is a joke. It is way too easy to hit the select button in the middle when trying to hit the ring around it. Hard to believe Steve ever used that thing on a regular basis. He'd have thrown it against the wall.
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post #8 of 78

I know this is more a political/philosophical question, but why is this legal? Why are companies allowed to filter information you get when you subscribe to *the internet*? If these services have physical representations, meaning store fronts, would private companies be allowed to prevent you from entering them? How is this possible? These companies have entirely too much control and power, imnsho.

post #9 of 78
Can a class action lawsuit be brought for anti-competitive policies? Because, if any of these cable providers are also ISPs then this is pretty much the definition of anti-competitive practices.
post #10 of 78

This seems ripe for anti-trust litigation. The only reason that the cable providers are able to prevent HBO from selling to me directly is their position as a monopoly. There is a historical precedent for this in POTS in the 1980s.

post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

I know this is more a political/philosophical question, but why is this legal? Why are companies allowed to filter information you get when you subscribe to *the internet*? If these services have physical representations, meaning store fronts, would private companies be allowed to prevent you from entering them? How is this possible? These companies have entirely too much control and power, imnsho.

Because The Internet is a collection of private networks owned by companies who cooperate when it is in the mutual interest. Take a look back at The Internet ('80s) when commerce was not permitted. Look what happened to AoL and Compuserve when that commerce rule changed. Imagine everyone in your neighborhood permitted to use your wifi access to The Internet and you had no say in the terms of use. That is what it is like when content providers host on small backbones and expect global providers to provide transport for free.

Their control and power come from the size and capacity of their networks. Bigger boys host more companies (typically) and host more end users. Tier 1 providers are Tier 1 because they are large enough that lesser backbones pay them for transit. Research who pays for the IETF and how RIRs are funded. It ain't public anymore.
post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

I hate cable/satellite companies. Aereo will be in my area this fall. As soon as they arrive, I am signing up and canceling Direct TV.

Netflix, Hulu and Aereo: that is all my family needs. Well those and 3 more Apple TVs! We will save almost $90 per month.

Lucky, I wish I had that option. I wonder if Aero will be able to spread nationwide because I would love to do that as well. 

 

I think congress let cable companies get away with bloody murder because they are about the only group less popular than congress. 

post #13 of 78

The Internet needs to be separated form cable TV. The cities own most of the streets and greenways where the telephone poles and underground conduit are installed so they could make it happen if they wanted to. There needs to be more regulation in my opinion. The cable companies should be allowed to provide either TV or Internet, not both. Phone is irrelevant because soon no residence will have a land line anyway.

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post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Lucky, I wish I had that option. I wonder if Aero will be able to spread nationwide because I would love to do that as well. 

I think congress let cable companies get away with bloody murder because they are about the only group less popular than congress. 

It is also a leverage game. Customers complain to Disney and perhaps Disney bolts up peering directly to that providers backbone. Or customers complain more loudly to the provider and the provider yields, turns off the filters at their peering points and pays for more transit toward that service.

This isn't much different than content owners negotiating deals to add-on the lesser content using the hit shows as leverage.

I think what scares traditional, cable providers the most is LTE evolving to bandwidth levels coupled with multicasting to virtually level the laying field. Verizon, Sprint, AT&T (U.S. examples on a .com forum) are the future.
post #15 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


Because The Internet is a collection of private networks owned by companies who cooperate when it is in the mutual interest. Take a look back at The Internet ('80s) when commerce was not permitted. Look what happened to AoL and Compuserve when that commerce rule changed. Imagine everyone in your neighborhood permitted to use your wifi access to The Internet and you had no say in the terms of use. That is what it is like when content providers host on small backbones and expect global providers to provide transport for free.

Their control and power come from the size and capacity of their networks. Bigger boys host more companies (typically) and host more end users. Tier 1 providers are Tier 1 because they are large enough that lesser backbones pay them for transit. Research who pays for the IETF and how RIRs are funded. It ain't public anymore.

 

Yeah, I understand this, but it's interesting to note that in the early days of AOL and Compuserve (days I remember well, those good ole days of yore<grin>), the connection to them was via your phone line, and never once was my phone company able to restrict or block any content that I accessed on AOL or Compuserve (I had accounts with both companies for years). So, again, I ask why it's legal that a similar connection to the outside world, which really is a monopoly industry in that you do *not* have many (or sometimes more than 1) options to get connectivity to this outside world, is allowed to restrict your access to it? How is this different from roads into the commercial centre of town, or roads to your friends and families' houses? These companies are allowed to restrict access to this content, what's to stop them from restricting access to your friends and family?

 

The next question I'd ask someone in this discussion (not to you specifically, though of course happy to discuss this with you) is this: if you're content with things the way they are, is there any reason you'd choose to prevent our changing it?

post #16 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The Internet needs to be separated form cable TV. The cities own most of the streets and greenways where the telephone poles and underground conduit are installed so they could make it happen if they wanted to. There needs to be more regulation in my opinion. The cable companies should be allowed to provide either TV or Internet, not both. Phone is irrelevant because soon no residence will have a land line anyway.

Man, the public utility commissions are what prevents more than 2 providers from showing up in brand new neighborhoods; determine rules for new cell towers. These entities are all about regulating but their priorities include equal service in rural, less populace, higher cost to deliver service areas.
post #17 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

 wish I had that option. I wonder if Aero will be able to spread nationwide because I would love to do that as well. 

It is so easy to set up your own over the air HDTV, I live close enough to Los Angeles that I can get all the over the air stations on my antenna which is installed inside the attic so no unsightly outdoor equipment and the quality is so much better than cable because the signal is totally uncompressed. The quality is just pristine. You can really notice the difference.

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post #18 of 78
Anyone get HBOGO to work yet?

It sends you to hbogo.com/activate > login to provider (no problem) then it gives you an activation code. Enter activation code and it says "Your device has been activated and is now ready to stream HBO GO."

Hit back on AppleTV to hit play and it just keeps giving a new activation code.
post #19 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

Yeah, I understand this, but it's interesting to note that in the early days of AOL and Compuserve (days I remember well, those good ole days of yore), the connection to them was via your phone line, and never once was my phone company able to restrict or block any content that I accessed on AOL or Compuserve (I had accounts with both companies for years). So, again, I ask why it's legal that a similar connection to the outside world, which really is a monopoly industry in that you do *not* have many (or sometimes more than 1) options to get connectivity to this outside world, is allowed to restrict your access to it? How is this different from roads into the commercial centre of town, or roads to your friends and families' houses? These companies are allowed to restrict access to this content, what's to stop them from restricting access to your friends and family?

The next question I'd ask someone in this discussion (not to you specifically, though of course happy to discuss this with you) is this: if you're content with things the way they are, is there any reason you'd choose to prevent our changing it?

What did you pay for a pots line back then? What if those providers you mentioned didn't have local dial numbers - didn't they charge a premium for (800) dial? Did AoL allow you access to Compuserve and vise versa? Did not some forums have an extra fee? I recall Novell's did but my memory is fading.

Point is you always pay for transport access and companies have always steered you toward their hosted content. I.m for the consumer being the market force.

Heck, in '91 I was paying $120 a month for 2Bs and a D + Internet access charges. And I considered myself fortunate for my choice in place to live. 18,000 ft from the C.O.
post #20 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The Internet needs to be separated form cable TV. The cities own most of the streets and greenways where the telephone poles and underground conduit are installed so they could make it happen if they wanted to. There needs to be more regulation in my opinion. The cable companies should be allowed to provide either TV or Internet, not both. Phone is irrelevant because soon no residence will have a land line anyway.

 

Not more regulation, just public control of these resources, such as roads (oh wait there is!) and communication connectivity. The cable companies should die a quick and painful death and the connection we get to the outside world should be to one of providers of services and content - there shouldn't be one or more companies digging up our roads, all making a bee-line to your pocket book in annuity form. The pipes are merely roads, and no one should should restrict our using them. They are paths, ways to connect one of us to the other - the fact one company can restrict our connections to each other in some way is abhorrent.

post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The Internet needs to be separated form cable TV. The cities own most of the streets and greenways where the telephone poles and underground conduit are installed so they could make it happen if they wanted to. There needs to be more regulation in my opinion. The cable companies should be allowed to provide either TV or Internet, not both. Phone is irrelevant because soon no residence will have a land line anyway.

So you want to go back to this?
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #22 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankees09 View Post

Anyone get HBOGO to work yet?

It sends you to hbogo.com/activate > login to provider (no problem) then it gives you an activation code. Enter activation code and it says "Your device has been activated and is now ready to stream HBO GO."

Hit back on AppleTV to hit play and it just keeps giving a new activation code.

Worked for me first time. Streamed season 3 first episode of Boardwalk Empire to test. I recall having to hit Back, twice.

What annoyed me is a different activation for each "app" how many cable providers do most people have n one home?
post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

Can a class action lawsuit be brought for anti-competitive policies? Because, if any of these cable providers are also ISPs then this is pretty much the definition of anti-competitive practices.

They were given the right to be your ISP so that your telco wouldn't be the only one able to so how's that anticompetitive? You have your choice of ISPs, now you may not like your choices but that's your problem not theirs.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #24 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

It is so easy to set up your own over the air HDTV, I live close enough to Los Angeles that I can get all the over the air stations on my antenna which is installed inside the attic so no unsightly outdoor equipment and the quality is so much better than cable because the signal is totally uncompressed. The quality is just pristine. You can really notice the difference.

Oh I know, I have a pretty big house and a total of 6 TV's in the rooms. All of them used to have a DirecTV receiver but I partially cut the cord by canceling the box on 3 of them and replacing them with either a digital antenna and a Roku box that I use for Netflix and Plex from my Mac. If it were just me I would cut the cord completely but other family members are less amenable to that idea so I am left paying the bill to DirecTV every month. But at least it is about $18 cheaper now with 3 less receivers. 

post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post
What did you pay for a pots line back then? What if those providers you mentioned didn't have local dial numbers - didn't they charge a premium for (800) dial? Did AoL allow you access to Compuserve and vise versa? Did not some forums have an extra fee? I recall Novell's did but my memory is fading.

You apparently weren't around back then but people were paying monthly fees like several hundreds of dollars a month to Compuserve for time on the system. We would dialup on 300 baud because it was cheaper than 1200. Once you found the resource you wanted you would log out and redial using 1200 baud to download it. Then immediately log out and connect again at 300 to save money. It was outrageous what they were charging back then.

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post #26 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

So you want to go back to this?

I don't think it would be that bad. perhaps one or two more cables. My region is all underground anyway.

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post #27 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


So you want to go back to this?

 

Exactly! One connection to the house, just one, public owned and let's figure out a way to ensure it's the fastest possible connection and it covers everyone everywhere regardless. This isn't technologically impossible, and what I find weird is the thought that it isn't impossible technologically speaking (that should be the barrier to making it happen, not that we can't "afford" it) - the fact we can do this blows my mind, it's that we can't figure out a way to make it happen even though we have everything we need, we have the resources (human and natural), the knowledge...

 

What is our problem?

post #28 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

You apparently weren't around back then but people were paying monthly fees like several hundreds of dollars a month to Compuserve for time on the system. We would dialup on 300 baud because it was cheaper than 1200. Once you found the resource you wanted you would log out and redial using 1200 baud to download it. Then immediately log out and connect again at 300 to save money. It was outrageous what they were charging back then.

My questions were rhetorical. I appreciate you bringing the historical context that I was trying (failing) to communicate. I had to use Compuserve for business downloading Novell patches and drivers. I got on and got off as fast as possible.
post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

Not more regulation, just public control of these resources, such as roads (oh wait there is!) and communication connectivity. The cable companies should die a quick and painful death and the connection we get to the outside world should be to one of providers of services and content - there shouldn't be one or more companies digging up our roads, all making a bee-line to your pocket book in annuity form. The pipes are merely roads, and no one should should restrict our using them. They are paths, ways to connect one of us to the other - the fact one company can restrict our connections to each other in some way is abhorrent.

They took the expense to run those cables and spend X amount of dollars a year to maintain it. The pipes may be dumb but they're damn expensive. I don't know about you but I'd be dammed to allow another company that's going to undercut me onto the network I've spent billions to build.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

They took the expense to run those cables and spend X amount of dollars a year to maintain it. The pipes may be dumb but they're damn expensive. I don't know about you but I'd be dammed to allow another company that's going to undercut me onto the network I've spent billions to build.

And those companies paid money up front and continue to pay to lease.
post #31 of 78

It's time for dumb pipes and a la carte video. Cable companies have been pushing their GUI-from-hell interfaces for too long.

post #32 of 78
The problem is more the local governments that give exclusive contracts to one company for cable service. Make this illegal and we go a long way to solving the problem of one company controlling everything. By the way there seems to be a lot of corruption with respect to many of these locals. People should demand choice and a plurality of services.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfergenson View Post

This seems ripe for anti-trust litigation. The only reason that the cable providers are able to prevent HBO from selling to me directly is their position as a monopoly. There is a historical precedent for this in POTS in the 1980s.
post #33 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't think it would be that bad. perhaps one or two more cables. My region is all underground anyway.

It'll be the same way underground. The telco isn't going to share their conduits and manholes, should every company dig up the streets?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #34 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

And those companies paid money up front and continue to pay to lease.

What companies and to whom? You lost me there.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #35 of 78
The internet should be ubiquitous like electricity and water, supplied by new utilities with competition nation wide not tied to cable and phone line providers from the last century.
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post #36 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

They took the expense to run those cables and spend X amount of dollars a year to maintain it. The pipes may be dumb but they're damn expensive. I don't know about you but I'd be dammed to allow another company that's going to undercut me onto the network I've spent billions to build.

Once the conduit is in the ground it is relatively inexpensive to pull new cable. The communication companies paid the city to be allowed to install the conduit but they don't own it even though they paid to install it. They continue to lease it from the city. The city could let other providers pull cable if they wish assuming they don't have an exclusive contract with the original company. That recently happened in my city where AT&T started pulling fiber through the same conduit that was previously Time Warner only.

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post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The problem is more the local governments that give exclusive contracts to one company for cable service. Make this illegal and we go a long way to solving the problem of one company controlling everything. By the way there seems to be a lot of corruption with respect to many of these locals. People should demand choice and a plurality of services.

That's a big problem but there's also building complexes whose ownership signed a contract with one company and won't allow another one in.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #38 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

What companies and to whom? You lost me there.

Cable companies pay the local franchise authority (FCC Language) a negotiated franchise fee and up to 5% of gross revenues. (Again, in the U.S since that's where I live). Local municipalities get their cut.
post #39 of 78
I'm slowly weening my family off of cable TV, got the minimum basic cable, Apple TV, Netflix, red box rentals, occasional iTunes newer movie rental. Thinking about adding Hulu, & Netflix mail service & cutting out all cable except high speed Internet.
post #40 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

They took the expense to run those cables and spend X amount of dollars a year to maintain it. The pipes may be dumb but they're damn expensive. I don't know about you but I'd be dammed to allow another company that's going to undercut me onto the network I've spent billions to build.

 

So, it seems you're okay with the way things are, I get it, ya' apologist. ;-)

 

Who's talking about another company undercutting anyone? I understand the investment that went into laying those cables (you do understand who actually did the physical digging, right?), and I'm sure when we find Mr. Burns we'll have figured out a way to reimburse him appropriately. But until that time, why keep coming up with reasons to justify the past decisions, unless you agree that we should never revisit them or change our minds?

 

*****

 

Stop coming up with reasons to stay the same, unless you're happy with censorship. If you're happy with the way things are, and would suffer no harm in changing things, why stand in the way, unless *you* are the problem...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

The internet should be ubiquitous like electricity and water, supplied by new utilities with competition nation wide not tied to cable and phone line providers from the last century.

 

Yes! This exactly!!!

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